MELAKA, Nov 19 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed he will withdraw his application for a home and plot of land allegedly worth RM100 million from the government, to prevent the matter from swaying the state election here tomorrow.
He said his application for the property in Bukit Petaling in Kuala Lumpur was made in 2018 based on his entitlement under the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) Act and should not be linked to the polls.
“I am not contesting in the Melaka state election and yet I am attacked and hated.
“So, I have made a decision to reject the offer, even though on principle it is based on my entitlement as a former prime minister,” said Najib in a press conference held at La Crista Hotel Melaka here today.
Yesterday, the issue was raised in Parliament when former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed asked Finance Minister Datuk Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz why Najib’s request for land and housing was not included in the Budget 2022.
In his reply, Tengku Zafrul confirmed that the Cabinet received and discussed Najib’s application for a plot of land and home that some have valued at RM100 million, and said it was excluded from Budget 2022 as the application came after its tabling.
Najib appeared to contradict this when he said the application was made in 2018.
On the alleged value of the plot offered, Najib claimed today that he did not know the value of the site, including the other three choices that were offered to him by the Prime Minister’s Department.
“I am not aware of the value and I am not party to the valuation of the said land until it was widely publicised,” he said on the alleged RM100 million valuation.
Najib also defended his choice in the selection of the site saying that it was similar to buying a plot of suitable land.
He said like all former prime ministers were entitled to such land for use as their personal residence.
Earlier, the Pekan MP pointed out that he was not asking the government to give him RM100 million for housing, and that it already owned the land for which he applied.
Najib went on to suggest that the government review or revoke the benefits and entitlements of prime ministers, both past and present, if these were a source of controversy.